A potentially explosive event on the state of Indigenous Australian literature. Peter Minter leads a discussion with Lionel Fogarty, Jeanine Leane and Melissa Lucashenko. These searingly talented writers read from their work and consider: Does being a writer construct identity, indigenous or otherwise? Is their writing political and should it be? They’ll throw a collective molotov cocktail of ideas into the ‘canon’ and decide if it has been hamstrung by all or some of these notions.
Presented with the Faculty of Education & Social Work, the University of Sydney.
Lionel Fogarty (Australian)
Born on Wakka Wakka land at Barambah, which is now known as Cherbourg Aboriginal Reserve, Mr Lionel Fogarty has travelled extensively both nationally and internationally presenting and performing his work. Since the seventies Lionel has been a prominent active speaker, poet writer and artist; a Murri spokesperson for Indigenous Rights in Australia and overseas. His poetry art work and oral presentation illustrates his linguistic uniqueness and overwhelming passion to re-territorialized Aboriginal language culture and meaning which speaks for Aboriginal people of Australia.
Jeanine Leane is a Wiradjuri woman from south west NSW. Formerly a research fellow at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, she currently holds a post-doctoral fellowship at ANU. In 2010, Jeanine’s first volume of poetry, Dark Secrets After Dreaming: AD 1887-1961 won the Scanlon Prize for Indigenous Poetry from the Australian Poets’ Union and her manuscript, Purple Threads won the David Unaipon Award at the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards and was shortlisted for the 2012 Commonwealth Book Prize. Jeanine is the recipient of an Australian Research Council grant for a proposal called Reading the Nation: A critical study of Aboriginal/Settler representation in the contemporary Australian Literary Landscape.
Melissa Lucashenko (Australian)
Melissa Lucashenko is an award-winning Aboriginal novelist who lives between Brisbane and the Bundjalung nation. Her writing explores the stories of ordinary Australians with particular reference to Aboriginal people and those living on the margins of the First World. Melissa’s forthcoming novel is Mullumbimby, a contemporary tale of romantic love and cultural warfare set in a remote NSW valley. melissalucashenko.com.au
Dr Peter Minter is a leading contemporary Australian poet, editor and scholar. He is coordinator of the Indigenous Australian studies major at the University of Sydney and is an ARC chief investigator on the AustLit: The Australian literature resource consortium, contributing to the national BlackWords Aboriginal literature digital humanities infrastructure project. Peter was the co-editor of The Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature and is currently the poetry editor of Overland journal. His latest book of poetry is Blue Grass. peterminter.com